Voting in orbit: NASA astronaut casts ballot from International Space Station

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the only American off the planet, has voted in the presidential election from the International Space Station.

NASA told Monday that Kimbrough, who arrived at the station in mid-October, has filed his ballot from orbit.

“It is through an electronic and secure ballot that is uplinked to the crewmember through our means from the local county clerk’s office,” explained a NASA spokesman, in an email to “The crewmember fills out the ballot and returns it electronically. All secure. All private.”

NASA said that Kimbrough had voted sometime over the past few days.

Kimbrough’s participation in the election continues NASA’s motto of “Vote while you float.” For NASA astronauts, home is Houston when they’re not circling the globe.

“We first employed this system in 1997 for former astronaut David Wolf when he was flying a long duration mission over Election Day aboard the old Russian space station Mir,” explained the NASA spokesman.

Before launching on a four-month mission, Kimbrough said it was going to be special, being able to say “I voted from space.”

By the time he’s back on Earth in February, America will have a new commander in chief. Astronauts are “pretty much apolitical,” he told reporters last month. “And I’ll be glad to welcome the new president, whoever that is.”

Kimbrough, a former U.S. Army officer, is sharing the space station with two Russians. The crew will double in size at the end of next week, adding another American, a Russian and a Frenchman.

NASA also confirmed that astronaut Kate Rubins, who left the orbiting lab last month, voted from space prior to her landing and return to earth Oct. 30.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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